Senate, House education committees approve of bills on Hope Scholarship, patriotic societies

Story by David Beard, The Dominion Post

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Senate and House education committees approved a Hope Scholarship bill and a patriotic societies bill without debate on Wednesday and sent them on to their respective destinations.

Senate School Choice merged two Hope Scholarship bills into one: SB 598.

Among its provisions: It authorizes microschools and learning pods to issue secondary school diplomas. It provides that the Hope Scholarship appropriation calculation will based on the estimated number of Hope Scholarship applications for the fiscal year rather than the actual number of applications from the prior year.

It makes all K-12 students eligible for Hope, including those in microschools and learning pod. It expands the number of parents on the Hope Scholarship Board from three to five.

And, lifted from SB 531, which addresses the same code section, it allows charter schools to charge Hope Scholarship students for classes that students enroll in at the charter school.

Committee counsel told the member she’s requested a fiscal note on the bill but it hasn’t arrived yet. The bill goes next to Finance.

HB 5863 creates the Patriotic Access to Students in Schools Act.

It says that starting next school year, school principals shall allow representatives of a patriotic society the opportunity to speak with and recruit students to participate in their organizations during school hours. The discussion would inform the students of how the patriotic society may further their educational interests and civic involvement to better their schools, communities, and themselves.

Patriotic societies are listed in Title 36 of federal code. They include, for example, the American National Red Cross, Daughters of the American Revolution, Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, the American Legion, Disabled American Veterans, FFA, Boys & Girls Clubs, the Congressional Medal of Honor Society, Big Brothers-Big Sisters and Little League Baseball.

It goes next to the full House.

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